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Fiji Time: 3:22 AM on Friday 29 August

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1000 stranded by flooded bridge

Repeka Nasiko
Monday, February 25, 2013

ABOUT 1000 people in the interior of Ba have been stranded for the past three days because they cannot cross the flooded Maranitawa Irish Crossing.

Ba advisory councillor Viam Pillay said most of those stranded residents were farmers who depended on the sales of their farm produce for daily survival.

He said most vegetable farms were also destroyed by floods caused by the torrential rain in some parts of the Western Division.

"About 400 farmers are stranded back in their farms as the flooded Irish Crossing has prevented them from taking their produce to the market," Mr Pillay saud.

"Vegetables and fruits are lying on the farms for the past three days because of the flood.

"Apart from the farmers, there are other 600 people living on the other side of the river that are affected by this flood.

"It is highly likely that some school students will miss out school tomorrow (today) because of this problem."

Maranitawa resident Nazmun Nisha said she had to cross the flooded Maranitawa bridge with the help of some itaukei men who were assisting people to get across safely.

"This crossing along with the old Moto Bridge always gets flooded during heavy rain," said Mrs Nisha.

"We have many families living in this area and we all had to cross the flooded crossing to get to work," she said.

Talaya Muslim Primary School teacher Shabana Malika Rakim said students living in the area had to use inflatable tubes to cross the river.

"The current was really strong and we had to use tubes to cross the river," said Mrs Rakim.

According to the residents, bus services to the area were also affected.

Mrs Nisha said the bus that serviced their area was unable to cross the flooded bridge to pick up passengers, including schoolchildren.

Ba Town Council special administrator Arun Prasad said apart from areas that usually experienced flooding, the town's main centre escaped unscathed this time.

"In town, no areas were flooded, including businesses," said Mr Prasad.


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